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Casual Playthrough—Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

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ENIGMATIS: THE GHOSTS OF MAPLE CREEK PLAYTHROUGH – SECTION ONE


Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek by Artifex Mundi begins as you watch a young woman running, terrified, through a forest. An overhead camera shot shows that a tornado is ravaging the landscape, and that the woman is running toward a quaint tourist town. Maple Creek, Vermont has become a disaster area after the storm, with trees and electrical poles down and inhabitants deserting their battered homes.


As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Maple Creek has been a disaster area of a different sort for quite some time.

You assume the role of the terrified woman, running toward the storm rather than away from it. You are a police detective who has been investigating the disappearance of a blonde teenager—Kate Burrows.


Something about the investigation – or something to do with the storm – has left you without any memory of recent events. As you start the inquiry again from scratch, you will discover increasingly disturbing developments, including a trail of evidence left by another detective, years earlier, who was also researching a young woman’s disappearance. What happened to Richard Hamilton, Private Detective, and did he have anything to do with the missing Kate Burrows?

LET’S SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF MAPLE CREEK!

We’ll now begin to play Maple Creek . For this section start at the beginning and play until you have opened up the gates to the church. If possible, finish this first section before Wednesday, November 19th, when the second section will start.


Fascinating Extra Information

1. If you don’t already own the game, you can purchase it from the developer, or at Big Fish Games, or on Steam. The disk version is also available on Amazon (US).

2. This game comes in a Special Edition (SE) or Collector’s Edition (CE). It is not necessary to buy the CE to enjoy the playthrough, though the CE does provide a bonus gameplay chapter that we will be discussing as the playthrough reaches its final session.

3. A map can be accessed via the game’s journal. It is not interactive, but (in Regular Mode, through not in Expert Mode) it shows you which locations have tasks that still need to be completed. The game’s journal is extremely detailed and helpful – well worth a read and even a re-read.

4. The Evidence Board feature helps you collate clues. The board is set up in your room at the local Boarding House, but it is also always accessible by clicking on the Evidence icon on the lower-right-hand corner of the screen. After clicking to pick up the magnifying glass to get close-ups of the evidence on the board, you can put away the magnifying glass by right-clicking.

Let’s play!

     
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I’ve made it to the church gates.

While I very much enjoyed this game there were a few things that annoyed me when I first played the game, and they annoy me now. The designers play fast and loose with their HO scenes. In the very first HO scene one of the definitions is Buckle. There is a perfectly good buckle attached to the end of a belt. But no! that’s not the buckle the designers had in mind. In the second HO scene one of definitions is Lug Nuts. The actual object, at least what it is called in the States is [spoiler]Lag Bolts. [/spoiler] In one of the Chapel HO scenes you are supposed to find two saws. It’s not that hard, but [spoiler]there is also a perfectly good saw blade sitting on the chair. [/spoiler]

Those are three types of HO errors. There is usually one of those types in just about every HO scene I’ve played so far. Other than that the game is playing great. Although I did have to turn down the volume levels.

FWIW, it took me about 1.5 hours to complete the first segment. If that’s what you are shooting for, you hit the target.

I’ve not taken any screenshots yet. It’s not difficult to take them, but I’m afraid they might include something that would be considered a hint. And, as we’ve discussed before, there doesn’t seem to be a way to post an image inside a spoiler tag.

     

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rtrooney - 17 November 2014 04:22 PM

While I very much enjoyed this game there were a few things that annoyed me when I first played the game, and they annoy me now. The designers play fast and loose with their HO scenes. In the very first HO scene one of the definitions is Buckle. There is a perfectly good buckle attached to the end of a belt. But no! that’s not the buckle the designers had in mind. In the second HO scene one of definitions is Lug Nuts. The actual object, at least what it is called in the States is [spoiler]Lag Bolts. [/spoiler]


I thought they asked for “Lug Bolts” but might be misremembering.
I think a lot of the developers aren’t native English speakers, so they use a dictionary to get a picture of the object—and sometimes they come up with something that only looks similar but isn’t quite what the object is.
Other times they may not recognize something—
for example a type of buckle that doesn’t look like this—> buckle
and instead looks more like this—> buckle with hook underneath

FWIW, it took me about 1.5 hours to complete the first segment.

That’s also how long it took me to get the church door open—playing on “non-expert.”

     
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Got the game up and running. Been playing for a bit and have just reached my room.
I’ll continue tomorrow (need to get some shut-eye now, work in the morning).

I got the CE for both games (took advantage of that “buy one CE, get one for free” deal a few days ago).

Not much to say about the story so far, we’re still figuring things out. The car crash and battered/abandoned town are reminiscent of Phantasmat. Graphics look slightly older and it’s a shame that I needed the aspect adjustment to create large black bars on the sides of my wide screen - would have loved to take full advantage of my screen size.

Haven’t had the above mentioned issues with the HO scenes yet, but I’m pretty forgiving in that aspect. You kind of have to be when a petticoat is smaller than the glove next to it… Tongue

     

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crabapple - 17 November 2014 07:46 PM
rtrooney - 17 November 2014 04:22 PM

FWIW, it took me about 1.5 hours to complete the first segment.

That’s also how long it took me to get the church door open—playing on “non-expert.”

And according to steam, yes I bought the CE version on steam which was actually cheaper than the SE version on Big Fish, it took me exactly 98 minutes, so it seem like the playtime is pretty consistent for all of us. Oh and I’m also playing on non-expert mode, and I must admit I have used the hint system twice Confused

Regarding the HOG errors, then I sometimes have the opposite problem, or perhaps the same problem with a twist, as a non-native English speaker I don’t always understand exactly what item I’m suppose to be finding, I could of course look it up in a dictionary, google translate or something similar, but just random clicking or a little hint is much easier.

Regarding the story then it so far seems to be pretty standard detective investigating a simple missing persons case ends up with amnesia, discovers that many girls have gone missing over a very long period of time, and that she is following in the footsteps of a detective that investigated the original case and ended up MIA possible dead himself… right before she happens to stumble upon a mass grave of murdered girls… all taking place in a spooky town populated by zombies that are being controlled by the tolling of a ominous church bell and a zombie cult leader known as the Preacher!

As I said pretty standard stuff for these kind of stories Wink
But I don’t really mind that, and who knows perhaps there will be a few twists or unforeseen elements to the story that will add a bit more flavour.

Oh… and would this picture be considered spoilerish?

     

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crabapple - 17 November 2014 07:46 PM

I think a lot of the developers aren’t native English speakers, so they use a dictionary to get a picture of the object—and sometimes they come up with something that only looks similar but isn’t quite what the object is.

I think that is an understatement. Anyone who has taken the time to watch the credits knows that the first two or three “Bob Smith” - type names are the BFG contacts. And, please forgive me for the stereotype, all the following names that contain more consonants than vowels are most likely East European. The second game doesn’t have this problem, so it’s likely the developer either hired a better proof-reader or learned from their mistakes. Maybe both.

I need to mention that Artifex-Mundi has put together some really good games. So I wouldn’t make any assumptions based on the few errors that are encountered in this game.

BTW, I don’t know what the weather is like wherever the rest of my fellow players live, but it is effing cold here in the US. Polar Vortex is at it again.  Thumbs Up

     

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Iznogood - 17 November 2014 08:30 PM

[Oh… and would this picture be considered spoilerish?

How did you do that?

Edit: Nevermind. I bet you used the import link function rather than copy/paste. Very clever. You are now the hero of posting potentially spoiler screenshots. Thumbs Up

     

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I find it’s pretty common in HO screens to see an item that ought to qualify as fitting the description, but it doesn’t work when you click on it. You’re looking for a bottle, for instance, and the wine bottle works but the baby bottle doesn’t.

And sometimes the designers don’t use a precise technical term because they think their players won’t recognize it. For example, I’ve seen complaints that the flutes in HO screens are really recorders. But if you list “recorder,” some people would look for a tape machine, not a wind instrument.

The HO screens in this game are tough. Some of the items are quite small and blend right into the background. You’re supposed to stare at the screen for a long time.

     
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When I came to re-download Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek I was surprised to see that I had originally bought the CE!
Replaying it I found the opening sequence quite exciting & when I got into playing I got stuck (as I did the 1st time around) by not realising that I could go in the direction of the gas station despite the tree across the road

One of the many aspects I liked about the game was the info/history you could find about the location you were in via newspaper cuttings, brochures etc.
I’ve got quite engrossed in the story again & love the ‘deduction board’; also I really liked the chapel puzzle with the portraits.

I was a bit freaked out by the glowing eyes of the man in the street I gave water to after he died & also it was a bit of a shocker when I prised those floorboards off to find the missing girl amongst also other corpses!

The HO screens were a little challenging for a few objects – I had to use a few hints including for bracket fungus which I’ve never heard of!

I’ve opened the church gates – I was again baffled by the missing two ‘buttons’ that are already present at the top & just needed to be moved into the slots

     
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chrissie - 18 November 2014 11:31 AM

I was a bit freaked out by the glowing eyes of the man in the street I gave water to after he died & also it was a bit of a shocker when I prised those floorboards off to find the missing girl amongst also other corpses!

We don’t know that the girl that we are looking for is among those corpses, in fact they all looked rather decomposed to me and not like fresh kills, so the most recent missing girl might still be alive.

Becky - 17 November 2014 10:25 PM

And sometimes the designers don’t use a precise technical term because they think their players won’t recognize it. For example, I’ve seen complaints that the flutes in HO screens are really recorders. But if you list “recorder,” some people would look for a tape machine, not a wind instrument.

“Some people” would be me, if they told me to look for a recorder I would definitely look for a tape recorder and not some instrument.

rtrooney - 17 November 2014 08:45 PM

Edit: Nevermind. I bet you used the import link function rather than copy/paste. Very clever. You are now the hero of posting potentially spoiler screenshots. Thumbs Up

Yes, use the “direct link” option in imgur and simply insert it into your post as a link. Not a proper spoiler function, but better than nothing.

     

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Iznogood - 18 November 2014 01:56 PM
chrissie - 18 November 2014 11:31 AM

.....& also it was a bit of a shocker when I prised those floorboards off to find the missing girl amongst also other corpses!

We don’t know that the girl that we are looking for is among those corpses, in fact they all looked rather decomposed to me and not like fresh kills, so the most recent missing girl might still be alive.

We do know as it was stated at the time Iznogood! (I think?)

 

     
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chrissie - 18 November 2014 02:11 PM

We do know as it was stated at the time Iznogood! (I think?)

I (also) can’t remember the exact words, but I believe she said something like [spoiler]“it is the missing girls” plural form, meaning the girls that have gone missing over the years, so that doesn’t necessarily include the girl that we are looking for. Also if you look at the screenshot I posted earlier then even the newest corpse does look at least several months old, though I must admit that I’m not exactly a forensic expert.[/spoiler]

Anyway we will probably learn soon enough if she is actually still alive or not - But I hope she is, if for no other reason than simply because it would make a better story.

     

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chrissie - 18 November 2014 02:11 PM

We do know as it was stated at the time Iznogood! (I think?)

Well, [spoiler]she’s not listed as a victim on the evidence board….yet. So I assume she’s still alive.[/spoiler]

Update on weather: We set a new record today. At 19 degrees we recorded the lowest high temperature for this date in recorded weather history. The last lowest high was 22 degrees in 1909. It is freaking cold. I worry about my pup’s nose getting frostbit. Bad news is that this is November. It will get colder. I wish Canada would keep this Vortex stuff on their side of the border. (Sorry, Colpet. It just had to be said. I also yell at my friends in Ottawa and Calgary. They laugh.)

     

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It’s officially Wednesday, going by AG forum time, so…


ENIGMATIS: THE GHOSTS OF MAPLE CREEK PLAYTHROUGH—SECTION TWO


Well, the people with the glowing eyes clearly can’t be trusted. And we’re finding out about a freaky way to increase church attendance. There’s also the occasional glimpse of someone peering in at us through windows.

For me, two of the standout puzzles in this game occur in this section – the telescope challenge and the (formidable) cabinet lever puzzle (which appears to the right of the window in the above screenshot, and which I once managed to solve – though I didn’t quite have enough patience this time).

Prepare for a walk in the woods to meet a tall and handsome stranger. That is, if he would only stand up and remove his hat, we could see that he’s tall and handsome. Maybe he’s Humphrey Bogart doing a Hidden Object cameo.

For this section, play until you come within striking distance of the boathouse at the lake. If possible, try to finish up Section Two before Friday, November 21, when the third section will start.

     
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chrissie - 18 November 2014 11:31 AM

The HO screens were a little challenging for a few objects – I had to use a few hints including for bracket fungus which I’ve never heard of!

I’ve opened the church gates – I was again baffled by the missing two ‘buttons’ that are already present at the top & just needed to be moved into the slots

You’ve never encountered bracket fungus? I have it on the trees in my garden. It’s actually rather attractive. It looks like miniature steps going right up the tree. I have to restrain myself from painting little gnome houses just above the little steps.

I also find that, when replaying any game, the puzzles that stumped me the first time (assuming some time has gone on between playthroughs) usually stump me all over again the second time. If I managed to finally solve them the first time, I have less patience for a do-over. The tough puzzles sit in my mind in the “already solved” category, and if they took a long time the first time, I’m quicker to hit the “skip” button on the second time around.

     
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I have played this game multiple times, and have yet been able to solve the armoire puzzle. Maybe this time is the charm. But I doubt it Neutral

     

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